posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 06:32 PM
OK, I can sense the overwhelming apathy on this question, and since this guy fell to his famous-among-baseball-historians-only death in 1903, I'm not
surprised. Also, the miserable injury and pain suffered by Giants Fan (MORPHINE!!!?), and the incredible events in the NCAA Men's Regional Finals,
probably make this question truly "Trivial" at this time. It's certainly that way to racing fans.
So, the answer is....
And really, folks, back in his alcoholic day, he was one hell of a player. His career averages are favorably skewed by the fact he didn't play those
last few lousy years of the "decline phase," like almost everyone else does, but still:
(1) He had a .411 career on-base average, back in a time when lots of players swung at almost anything;
(2) He had a .346 lifetime batting average;
(3) He is #33 all-time in doubles and #13 in triples, so he didn't just slap his way on base, like many Dead Ball Era guys did.
(4) Bill James rates him #12 all time among left fielders, ahead of Joe Medwick (#13) and Goose Goslin (#15), and immediately behind Minnie Minoso
(#10) and Billy Williams (#11).
(5) I think James has this part of LF wrong. I would have Minoso at least at #10, probably higher. But I would rate Goslin--a very fine power
hitter whose stats got killed by titanic Griffith Stadium--ahead of both Williams and Delahanty, and perhaps Minoso... even though I consider Minoso
the best eligible player NOT in the Hall of Fame. I would drop Williams and his wind-aided Wrigley HR's below Delahanty. I might also drop Shoeless
Joe Jackson (#6) behind the whole lot of them, simply because I would not want him on any time of mine, ever, PERIOD.